Authentic Christianity – Ray Stedman

5 marks of authentic Christianity:

  1. A spirit of thankfulness, even during trials and difficulty. Authentic Christians operate by a belief in God's grace, love and ultimate control. Many Christians today have settled for a grin and bear it attitude which even a non Christian can adopt when there's nothing much that he can do about a situation.  The authentic Christian is confident that the same Lord who permitted the pain to come will use it to bring about a highly desirable end. That is why we can be genuinely thankful even in the midst of perplexity and sorrow.
  2. 2nd Corinthians 2:14 - Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.  These words we're spoken by Paul to embolden and encourage those who are literally risking their lives and their families lives every day for the cause of Christ. Paul, as a servant of Jesus, bore the wounds upon his body as he had endured much difficulty, endless disappointments and bitter persecution with great pain. Yet he could write with rugged truthfulness that Jesus always leads us in triumph.
  3. God tells us that our lives should be spent giving off a fragrance, a perfume, a pleasing bouquet, not only to other people but to God. Authentic Christianity leaves an unforgettable impression on those who encounter it. Christians are responsible for the enduring impact they make.
  4. 2 Corinthians 2:17 - For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.
  • We are to speak with sincerity and to be honest people and mean what we say.
  • We are to have an attitude of transparency, to walk in the sight of God in total honesty with Him and with ourselves for nothing can be hidden from His sight.
  • We are to be a purposeful people, not idle dreamers.
  • Authentic Christians speak with authority for we are Christ's ambassadors according to 2nd Corinthians 5:20 -- Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.
  1. 2 Corinthians 3:2,3 - You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. – Changed lives are an “undeniable reality” of authentic Christianity.